This is a story of one of those cases where by trying to do something good we unknowingly caused damage.

It all started around 10 months ago when we had a call for help in rescuing one of the puppies from a litter born a few months prior to a family of completely wild dogs, that if left to their own devices the puppies would’ve been run over on a high road they lived close to or would’ve been shot for trying to steal/scaring farm animals or even been poisoned..

A very kind couple wanted to adopt one of the last puppies and asked for our help in catching him and to help him adapt to humans while they were getting ready to arrive to the country and meet him. We wholeheartedly agreed – we just couldn’t risk that puppy being hurt.

The problem arose when we tried to approach the puppy – he had an inherited fear for humans that he learned from his mother, grandmother and beyond and he wouldn’t let any humans near him, only to take food from. So after a consultation with a local vet and other animal charities, the only solution was to sedate him and bring him to our home, which eventually worked and so Ollie, the wild pup, was now in our home.

The moment he came to, he was afraid and hiding but he soon became good friends with our dogs and started to be happy and play everyday. We were optimistic and believed that he will get used to us soon too, which meant we could soon take him to the vets to get assessed and ready for rehoming. But. The days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and Ollie was still not letting us anywhere near him. We were comforted by the idea that at least he’s safe on our secure grounds and he’s got playmates to enjoy his time here, but we were also starting to get worried about his health and that he needed to get his health assessed despite the fact that the hopes for rehoming him became weaker and weaker.

Now, all of our clients look after their dogs well, as well as we do ours – good hygiene routines, regular health checks, up to date vaccinations etc., Ollie also hasn’t left our territory since he got here all these months ago, so the risk of him getting ill was very small, and to be fair, we mostly worried about possible ticks and other insect bites.. We couldn’t be more wrong.

The whole nature of our work is to help people with their dogs and that also means help with rehoming dogs. We regularly visit local shelters and vets and this is where the problems start to arise. During recent visits in hopes to help re-home more poor souls the information about “small” outbreaks of a very contagious and very dangerous canine virus aren’t always forthcoming – Parvovirus. Failure to communicate can lead to unsuspecting folk bringing the virus home, where, often, a vulnerable pup may live – in our case….Ollie.

Needless to say, Ollie became very ill in a matter of days and is now in an emergency care at one of the best and most kind vets on the island – VetCare (Georgos and Michalis Diakosavvas) . He’s in a critical state and the treatment will be very long, expensive and there are no guarantees that it will be successful, even though the vet angels are doing all they can.

We spent our whole afternoon and evening sanitising, scrubbing, brushing and hosing all possible contamination areas (this includes almost a 1000 sq.m of our outdoor area). So even if our dogs are all vaccinated, we don’t spread the virus further.

Here’s what we learned and we want to share our tips with you so there are fewer victims of this horrible virus:


If you own or work for a business/charity that handles animals and if you happen to get an outbreak of Parvovirus in your facilities, even if it’s one case only – please inform anyone you have been in contact with that has animals and anyone that is about to visit your facilities – this virus is very contagious and can be transferred on shoes, clothing, car tires – just about anything that gets exposed to it.

It doesn’t affect humans as Canine Parvovirus is a different from human Parvovirus so it cannot transfer from dogs to humans. Also, it is mostly harmless to vaccinated dogs. However, it is very dangerous and mostly fatal to young unvaccinated puppies and you never know if someone that has come to your facilities may later on have contact with a young pup and transfer the virus to them..


Vaccinate your puppies. Vaccination from Parvovirus gives dogs lifetime immunity.

If you work in dog care business, make sure you ask if your client’s pup has had their vaccines before admitting their dogs to your facilities.

Regularly clean your facilities according to the guidelines of health, safety and prevention of contagious diseases.

Don’t socialise your dog before they had their vaccinations.


Watch your dog for the next few days and at any sign of diarrhea, take them to their vet and test for Parvovirus. Early treatment is very important.

Again, if your dog has been vaccinated, there’s usually no call for concern, just keep an eye on your pup.

If you’ve been in a contaminated area, you want to make sure you prevent the virus from spreading further. Hot wash all clothes and shoes that you were wearing while in the contaminated area and either tumble dry on high heat or let them dry in the sunshine for a couple of days.

Wash all surfaces that have been in contact with your contaminated shoes, clothes and hands. Where possible use bleach solution (30:1 where 30 parts is water, 1 part – bleach) or other approved antiviral sprays (usually it states on the label if it’s affective against Parvovirus).


The first tell-tale sign in a dog that’s infected with Parvovirus is diarrhea and bloody diarrhea.

Other symptoms include vomiting, bloody vomiting, bloody drooling, lethargy, weakness, disorientation.

If any of those occur, don’t delay and take your dog to your vet – blood in stool or vomit is a medical emergency. Tell the vet you suspect Parvovirus infection so they can test for it immediately. If it is known to you, tell them if you’ve been exposed to Parvovirus recently.

If your dog is tested positive for Parvovirus, they will need immediate treatment.

Meanwhile make sure you disinfect your whole house and outside spaces as above: bleach solution scrub all hard surfaces where possible, hot wash all blankets, clothes, dog leads, collars, harnesses any other possible upholstery. Use bleach solution to wash all food/water bowls, grooming tools, toys etc.

We really hope this information reaches everyone and that no dogs get to suffer this horrible virus. It can be avoided with simple communication and early action to stop the spread.